This is a soul cypher

for the ones

lost in the Ether: 

unpaid overtime at weekends.

This is for die-hards only:

strong will, a resilient mind, tougher memory.

You will not see 

your reflection in the TV mirror.

More melanin please, 

we’re British.

You will not hear 

your philosophy on the radio.

You will not see 

your ilk in management positions.

Your work-mentors will be

a different shade to you 





Yes – that is a real word.

Are you swamped 

by melancholy?

Anyone can 

lay their hands 

on an 808 sub-woofer kick

or a low-end sine wave, these days.

Bass vibrations.

Blow the shit away.

This is a soul cypher.

For die-hards only.

The weak-willed, the infirm, the ill-informed

need not apply.

The spiritually bereft 

will not make it past the first round.

Jump when they say jump?

How high?

No pirouettes, electric slides, freestyles, 

blocking, locking, popping.

No sticky okra for lunch.

No yams, no Krio, 

no QBWs, 

definition of which is: 

Quality Black Women

in this workplace.


is a soul cypher 

for those 

who remembered 

to carry

their spirits.

Funk Godfather

James Brown shouts

Take it to the bridge?

London bridge,


get the red bus for another interview.

You have experience?

Yes? No.

What are your ethics?

How far are you prepared to stretch 

without breaking?

To put your foot on a ladder 

without knowing who or what it’s connected to?

Who creates, distributes,

monetises these sky-ladders, anyway?

Which cloud is your dream floating on?

Cloud 9,

8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1, 0

Ether is one of the first anaesthetics,

flammable at low temperatures.

Ask why 

you feel a heat 

burning inside?

This is a soul cypher

This is for die-hards only.

There is always a P.A, softly spoken,


‘Sorry, some doors aren’t meant for everybody.’

Lionz of East London